The men of Mar Bella – Barcelona’s best beach for boys
I love Mar Bella beach. If you want to admire the boys of Barcelona, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Pretty much the entire stretch of Barcelona’s iconic beach is pretty queer, but Mar Bella is a particularly homosocial space – unashamedly gay as fuck.
On this trip to Barcelona, being gay-as-fuck seems more important than ever. Recently, there’s been a number of high-profile homophobic hate-crimes in Spain. Rising homophobia isn’t limited to Spain, but it’s been headline news here – accompanied by appropriate outpourings of outrage.
It feels empowering to see gay men walking along holding hands, showing affection, being intimate with each other – confident that this part of the world is somewhere that they are safe.
I think Mar Bella is the bit of Barcelona beach that is officially clothing-optional. Wherever you are in the world, clothing-optional generally goes hand-in-hand with gay. Look for the clothing-optional beach and that’s where you’ll find the gays.
Not that you have to get naked on Mar Bella – lots of guys don’t. It’s cool either way, there’s no drama.
For me, a bit of naked sun-tanning and people-watching on Mar Bella beach is pretty much the highlight of any visit to Barcelona.
The downside of sunning yourself on Mar Bella beach is that it’s unavoidably a bit of a knock to your self-esteem. Unless you’re an underwear model, I guess. I’m not an underwear model – it’s definitely a knock to my self-esteem.
Sure, being surrounded by a beach full of beautiful men could work as some kind of motivation to hit the gym hard, but I find it a bit overwhelming.
As I lay out my towel and strip everything off, I’m acutely aware that I’m surrounded by incredibly good-looking men. These are men who are definitely porn-stars, or who probably are porn-stars, or who could definitely be porn-stars. These are men who are setting the bar for gay beauty at an unattainably high standard.
One of the benefits of getting older is that you’re less bothered by how you measure up against other people. Most of the time, no one is looking at you.
I tried to tell myself that as I lay on my towel, attempting to clench my abs, wondering if everyone else was clocking all the imperfections I could see in myself.
Undoubtedly, no one was looking at me. But I was looking at me – comparing myself to the sea of men around me, not rating myself highly.
One of the immutable laws of nature is that there will always be someone younger than you, always someone better-looking, always someone with a bigger dick.
Never has that been more true than when lying on my towel, surrounded by the men of Mar Bella beach in Barcelona.